Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Afghan soldiers from 215 Corps take aim at Taliban insurgents in 2012 (Wiki)
A Taliban judge has said 10-foot walls will be toppled on men who have gay sex in parts of Afghanistan controlled by the Islamist group.
In a recent interview with a German newspaper, Gul Rahim claimed the alternative form of execution for gay sex under the Taliban's interpretation of Sharia law would be "stoning."
The interview, conducted recently in a Taliban-controlled area of central Afghanistan, was published by Bild on 13 July.
"For homosexuals, there can only be two punishments"
Said Rahim: "For homosexuals, there can only be two punishments: either stoning or he must stand behind a wall that will fall down on him. The wall must be 2.5 to 3 metres high.“
Elsewhere in the interview, the 38-year-old said women would only be allowed to leave their home with permission, before detailing a recent case he presided over.
"One man broke into a house," he explained. "He stole a golden ring. The punishment that I imposed was to chop off his hand.
"Then I asked the owner of the ring whether he also demanded that the thief’s leg be chopped off – since not only did he steal the ring, but he also broke into the house. So he committed two crimes. The owner of the house, however, agreed that only the hand will be chopped off."
The Taliban - a fundamentalist Islamist militia - was founded in 1994. From 1996 to 2001, it held power over roughly 66% of Afghanistan, where it enforced a strict version of Sharia law. It was removed from power by US-led forces in 2001, but continues to control large swathes of the country away from the main cities.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden said the US will pull its forces out of Afghanistan by 31 August, saying: "I will not send another generation to war in Afghanistan."
Taliban officials said last week that they have gained 85% control of Afghan territory (as per Reuters); the Afghan government dismissed the assertion.
Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in all of Afghanistan and punishable with a maximum penalty of death.
However, according to Amnesty International, there were no known executions in the government-controlled parts of the country in 2020, but rather commutations or pardons of death sentences.